Your ideal investment portfolio is a powerful force, helping you realize the life you want to live today while empowering the future you want to achieve tomorrow.
At Mason, we manage your assets to help make your vision for the future a reality – building your investment plan around the insights and discipline that has made us an independent leader in helping wealthy individuals and families achieve their personal goals. Each Mason client benefits from our sophisticated investment process, developed across 40 years of experience supporting institutional as well as private clients.
Investment Philosophy and Process
Our approach to managing your investments is clear and transparent. Our decisions are guided by our extensive research into the behavior of markets, investment managers, and asset classes. We construct your portfolio holding your unique objectives and tolerance for risk as our guideposts. And, based on years of experience, we employ a strategic asset allocation approach combined with logical rebalancing and rigorous manager selection to optimize your potential for success.
To maintain absolute objectivity, we never utilize proprietary products. And we don’t follow investment fads or employ market timing to avoid what our research indicates are futile efforts to boost returns.
Multi-Step Investment Consulting Process
The Mason Process
Step 1: Assessment
Assess Your Goals
For each client, our work begins with a thorough review of your financial goals and your current investment portfolio, where we pay special attention to your cash flow and investment requirements. For clients who have not yet developed a full financial plan, we offer fee-based financial planning services.
Step 2: Strategy
Design Your Personal Investment PhilosophyOur assessment continues with a thorough review of your current portfolio of investments. At Mason, we believe that a sound asset allocation strategy is fundamental to successful investment performance, so we review the allocation of your existing portfolio to determine your actual, as opposed to theoretical, investment strategy and risk exposure.
Step 3: Implementation
Implement Your Portfolio
We are an independent firm that always puts our clients’ interests first. We do not use proprietary products or managers with hidden fees or expenses. Our implementation plan reflects your personal investment philosophy and uses managers that we believe carefully match each recommended asset allocation category and are appropriate for your portfolio size.
Step 4: Management
Monitor, Manage, and ReportWe recognize that your time is a precious resource. We review each manager’s portfolio and performance monthly against our strict set of performance and qualitative criteria and will replace managers that do not meet our continual evaluation and tests. In addition, we regularly review your actual portfolio allocation against your recommended targets to identify opportunities for rebalancing – which helps to reinforce the discipline of buying low and selling high.
Learn how our attention to investment detail and our responsiveness can help you achieve the peace of mind you deserve.
Many of our clients depend on their portfolios for living in retirement. We have built tools designed to help you understand the ramifications of your key investment and spending decisions now and through retirement. Among the questions that we ask are:
- What is my optimal asset allocation strategy?
- Does my asset allocation strategy match my risk profile?
- How much am will I likely be able to withdraw from my portfolio each year?
The decisions you make now may have a profound influence on your ability to sustain your desired lifestyle and meet legacy goals. We are here to help you better navigate these decisions.
While most investment advisors agree that asset allocation is the primary determinant of portfolio return, the implementation of this concept varies widely in practice. We help our clients address key asset allocation questions including:
- What is my investment objective?
- In which asset classes should I invest?
- What is the appropriate number of asset classes to include in my portfolio?
- What percentage of my portfolio should be allocated to each asset class?
At Mason, our research supports adjusting target allocations based on strategic considerations. We have found that taking a tactical approach and adjusting targets for shorter-term market considerations simply does not pay off for our clients in the long term. To maintain your specific asset allocation strategy, Mason will implement a strict rebalancing policy at intervals based on our research into portfolio performance.
Over time, some asset classes will perform better than others, and as a result your asset allocation may no longer align with your goals. The solution is to rebalance your portfolio. Simply put, rebalancing is buying or selling asset classes that fall below or rise above a predefined long-term asset class target. Rebalancing assists in fostering the discipline of “buy low and sell high.” In theory, buying low and selling high seems simple but, in practice, emotions often tend to dictate an investor’s actions.
We help our clients avoid emotional investing by following a strict rebalancing policy that includes:
- Specific targets for each asset class.
- High-end and low-end tolerance bands
- A predetermined review frequency.
- A plan of action if an asset class is outside its band.
As an independent firm with no proprietary products, we are free to search for solutions without the pressure to promote a certain fund or strategy. We utilize both qualitative and quantitative analysis to determine which combination of investments we believe is optimal for your portfolio. Our typical clients have a mix of active and passive investments and may have more than one fund per asset class.
We begin the process with fund families versus specific asset classes. Our goal is not to find the “hottest” manager with the best trailing performance in a specific asset class. Rather, we attempt to find the best-performing fund families by analyzing the “aggregate investor’s experience” across the entire range of funds in each fund family. In our fund family research, we include not only current “open” funds but also previously “closed” or merged funds. In doing so, we feel that we can better assess the long-term success of investors in each fund family in total. Once we have selected specific fund families, we compare their strengths to each asset class in our clients’ portfolios.
At Mason, we want you to have full transparency into your portfolio and your performance. Our performance reporting is comprehensive and detailed. We show performance using an array of industry measures, looking at performance at the total-portfolio level, asset-class level, and on a manager-by-manager basis.
For individuals who utilize one or more investment advisors in addition to Mason, it can often be difficult to obtain a consolidated view of your portfolio, holdings, and performance. This creates the risk of having a total portfolio with overlapping investments. Through Mason’s data aggregation and performance reporting service, we can pull data from your other advisors and provide you with a total picture of your investments.